Alex Donner left a successful matrimonial law practice more than 25 years ago to devote himself to his first love – performing with a band. As he puts it, “weddings are a LOT more fun than divorces!”
His first major “gig” was a wedding in Jaipur, India for a former divorce client, which landed his picture in a slew of major magazines leading his orchestra while trying to keep a turban on his head! His special energy, charisma & ability to “read” a crowd quickly made Donner “in demand”. He was chosen to be the Musical Director of New York’s legendary Club El Morocco, where Frank Sinatra was a regular guest. Later, he was the musical director at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach and “Midnight Summer Swing” in Central Park.
A native New Yorker, Alex grew up on the east side of Manhattan, studied at the Sorbonne and graduated from Princeton University. He performs with his own Orchestra 100 times per year from Coast to Coast and oversees an organization that books entertainment for another 200 events per year. With clients that span the country, from the chicest Manhattan socialites to the hippest young brides, Alex Donner Entertainment has built a reputation for elegant music that “makes the party swing”. New York Magazine has called him, simply “the best!”
Recently named “the best entertainment provider in the east…if not the country,” by the New York Times, the Alex Donner Orchestra has entertained a long list of luminaries over the years, including: President George H.W. Bush; George Soros; Donald Trump; Rudolph Giuliani; Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes; The Rockefeller family; Itzhak Pearlman; Kevin Klein; Lou Dobbs; Susan Lucci; Queen Noor of Jordan; the King and Queen of Sweden; the Cuomo family. Also, the personable Donner’s cabaret show has garnered critical acclaim for his singing and charming banter and has had extended runs at both the Café Carlyle and the Oak Room of the Algonquin. His recordings have garnered Grammy entry nominations twice.
Alex and his musicians have performed with Liza Minnelli, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and Jimmy Buffett, among others. The prestigious venues the band has played in the U.S. include: the Kennedy Center; The Plaza Hotel; the Guggenheim; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum; many of the mansions in Newport, as well as the New York Botanical Garden. In Europe, they have played at the Palace at Versailles; Annabelle’s in London; in Athens & Rome; and for the opening of the Ballyfin manor home and resort near Dublin in 2011.
They have performed at benefits for: the American Cancer Society, NYC’s Animal Medical Center, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Ford Foundation, Southampton Hospital, the San Francisco Symphony and the Preservation Society of Newport. In Palm Beach they have often performed for the Norton Museum of Art, Lighthouse for the Blind and the Heart, Cancer and Preservation Societies benefits, among others.